NC Outer Banks

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After the Chesapeake Bay and entering NC we have another route choice.  Travel down the outer banks or take the inland route???  Still undecided about which way to go we stopped in Shiloh, NC near Elizabeth City to be able to at least visit part of OBX.

Day trip to the Outer Banks and another decision to make.  Which way to go north or south…  North first since we may head south in the bus.  I am sure that I must have at some point, but I don’t remember ever going up to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.  On the northern of OBX, you enter via Hwy158 in northern Kitty Hawk or Southern Duck depending on which side of the road you are looking at.  The Currituck LH is on the farthest northern point accessible via highway vehicles in Corolla.  It is the only lighthouse I remember seeing that is made of brick and not painted.

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It is also located very near the Whalehead Club, built in the 1920s as a hunting and fishing resort.  In those days, duck hunting was a major draw on the Currituck sound bringing the wealthiest of the wealthy to visit.  Actually Duck, NC was named because of the popularity of duck hunting.   Beautiful estate that is currently used for weddings and other events.

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Back south a must visit is the Wright Brothers museum and monument.  Running short on time and we have visited before we did not go to the museum, but did ride the grounds where the first flight took place and where the monument is.   If you don’t know the story, look it up.  One of NC’s biggest claims to fame!!!

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We went further south and exited to drive thru Manteo, home of the lost colony.  Taking the main road down and how we like loops we traveled the ocean front road on our way back north.  Since hurricane Florence had just come thru, we were expecting more damage and wash over than we saw.  Guess Kitty Hawk is a lot further north and past the path of destruction caused by the storm.   It is still a very fragile shore line and very small to non-existent in places.  But in better shape than I was expecting.

We decided to take the outer banks loop thru Ocracoke and two ferries.  A lot of the outer banks is national seashore with small developments scattered in between, towns such as Wave, Avon, Rodanthe, Hatteras, etc.  Although Kitty Hawk area did not show much damage from the storms, this drive proved that damage was done.

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Of course, we did not stop on our way down the island, but passed the Bodie Light and Hatteras Light.  Have visited both on prior visits and not too bad riding pictures.

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The Oregon Inlet Bridge replacement is well underway.

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Hatteras to Ocracoke ferry was free, but a little scary.  They finally (about 2 hour wait) put us mid boat taking up two lanes.  The entire ferry was still leaning on the ride due to out weight.  The level is on the steps of the ferry…  Second wanderlodge ferry ride not the best either.

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Ocracoke was a nice little visit.  The town has not grown in 50 years, but is just what you expect.  We stayed at Teeters right off the bay next to the British Cemetery.  As I said it has not grown a bit and neither have the streets.  I would not recommend Teeters to a rig of our size, but it worked and was really convenient for walking around town???  So, who cares if you block traffic on the way in…

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The British cemetery brings to life how close WWII actually got to the US mainland.   The four graves were the only bodies recovered from a British trawler on loan to the US Navy to protect our shores.  May 11, 1942 the Bedfordshire was torpedoed and sunk by a German sub off the shores of Ocracoke… Imagine what could have been – or not!!!

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Ocracoke is very walkable or many rent/own golf carts.  The light house is within ¼ mile of the downtown bay.  Groceries and restaurants scattered about.  Of course, there are miles of national seashore.  Pristine beach for fishing, riding with the right vehicle in the right places, walking, shelling and this time of year dog running.  So nice to have basically a private beach for Nellie and us.

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Ferry to Cedar Island and great friends ahead.  Much larger ferry and they accommodated us well.  Nice view of Ocracoke Light on the way and bird island.

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Thanks for the banner Blue Sky Days!!!  Peace and Love!

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We’re Back

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So, have been busy, lazy or just ignoring this blog for way too long.  I will try to start back from where I left off but I am sure that many little details have already been forgotten.  Strange how quickly and yet slowly things move on day by day.  Days turn to weeks and weeks into months before your eyes, yet minutes take years sometimes.  Time is a funny thing…  Sometimes.

From Delaware we traveled to Chincoteague, VA.  The national seashore connects all the way from Assateague, MD, just south of Ocean City, MD.   With the long barrier island being national seashore, most of Maryland’s Atlantic Ocean beach is public and undeveloped.  It is also only accessible with ATV vehicles or horseback. Near Chincoteague the Park is connected to the mainland via several spit islands.  Which are full of history and modern tourism trade.  Most notable are the wild ponies that live on the island and were made more famous by the children’s books by Marguerite Henry.  We saw the beautiful shore, lots of nice birds and ponies in a distance at Chincoteague.   The close-up ponies were at Assateague.

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And of course, they have a lighthouse.

Traveling down the eastern shore of VA our planned route and only option at that point was the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel and Bridges.  We are not really excited about the tolls along the east coast, here and NJ specifically, but on the Bay Bridge they may have really saved us.  Except during hurricanes, I have never seen a bridge closed to traffic due to winds.  Relatively normal weather (i.e. no named storms) creates winds strong enough to make crossing dangerous.  With the toll booths it is easy to monitor traffic, but other bridges… such as the Seven Mile Bridge in the FL Keys where our awning was flapping in the wind while crossing, you cross at your own risk.

Anyway the bridge/tunnel was closed to oversized (wanderlodge sized) vehicles due to excess winds and we were rerouted to a rest area with many others.  We made ourselves comfortable and watched the end of a Panthers game before being allowed to cross.  Even with lighter winds the crossing was harrowing.  Being in the wind then sheltered by the tunnel and then entering the blowing wind again in such a large vehicle was tough, thank goodness for Randy and his steady driving.

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The bay bridge-tunnel opened in 1964 and was one of the seven engineering wonders of the world.  It is 23-mile bridge with two tunnels across where the Chesapeake Bay connects with the Atlantic Ocean.  It was originally constructed as a two-lane crossing, and the tunnels allow shipping activity into the harbor to continue as traffic crosses underneath.  In the late 1990s, they added a parallel bridge providing two lanes in each direction, but the tunnels are still one lane each way.  They are currently in the process of building a parallel tunnel for the Thimble Shoals Tunnel.  The waves in the bay were crazy big, and we even tunneled under a large ship leaving the bay.

 

Back to the good ole North State – NC – Home Sweet Home.  Peace and Love.